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It’s a blessing that I don’t embarrass easily, because I often fill my days with ditzyness. I never took a class in Ditzyness, it just comes along with the red hair. So, I’m okay with it. I like myself. I even laugh at my own jokes, whether you join in or not.
A few times in my life, though, I have been terribly humiliated. Once it concerned farm machinery.
When we relocated to Illinois from Los Angeles, I knew nothing about farming. I thought a corncrib was a baby bed made from corncobs. The first time I saw bales of hay in a field, I asked what those huge round ‘thingies’ were. And I could not figure out why all the roads had ditches on either side!
While working at the front desk of Citizens Bank one smoky October day shortly after moving here, I noticed a young mother with her small son. He couldn’t have been older than three. Clutching a brightly painted farm toy, he inched over to my desk when I spoke to him. I like kids, especially other peoples’, so he must have sensed a friend in me.
As we talked, he wheeled his beloved farm toy around my pencil holder, over my photo frames and my down my monitor. I imagined him falling asleep that night with his sweaty little fingers hugging the toy’s bright green belly.
Running out of conversation topics, I looked down at his toy and remarked, “I like your tractor.” It seemed like a kind, friendly thing to say in the middle of a kind, friendly talk. So, I was unprepared when the pride of fifty-seven generations of farming family exploded from this indignant three-year-old: “It’s not a tractor, it’s a combine!”
Opening my mouth to make a witty retort, I managed only a wimpy “Oh, really?” All my city smarts and computer knowledge were worthless when it came to identifying a farm toy. I had been bested by a preschooler! He tromped off to find his mom, no doubt muttering, “What kind of grownup is she?”
I would have quit right then if I wasn’t so used to my paycheck. Or at least gone home with a paper sack over my head. The best I could do was hope to never again see Mr. “It’s-Not-A-Tractor.”
What a relief to know the lovely place I’m living forever has no embarrassment in it. My personal theory is that we will spend the first fifty trillion years looking at DVD’s of everyone’s life— with all the bad parts edited out. We will only view the victories.
No mistaken identity of farm equipment. No sins. No poverty, sickness, or fear. The King and the Lamb banished all those on Resurrection morning.
What abounds there are only the loving, faithful things we’ve done. Every word spoken in comfort and encouragement. Kind, unselfish acts. Pointing people in the right direction. The examples of integrity and hard work we’ve set for our kids. Forgiveness of our enemies. Sacrifice of time and riches. Grace. Healing. Joy. The only true utopia.
If you’re not sure how to get there, please ask me how. I promise, I won’t be a bit embarrassed to tell you.